Differences in left atrial size and function and supraventricular ectopy between black and white participants in the aric study

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Black Americans have more atrial fibrillation risk factors but lower atrial fibrillation risk than White Americans. Left atrial (LA) enlargement and/or dysfunction, frequent atrial tachycardia (AT), and premature atrial contractions (PAC) are associated with increased atrial fibrillation risk. Racial differences in these factors may exist that could explain the difference in atrial fibrillation risk. METHODS AND RESULTS: We included 2133 ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study participants (aged 74±4.5 years[mean±SD], 59% women, 27% Black participants) who had echocardiograms in 2011 to 2013 and wore the Zio XT Patch (a 2-week continuous heart monitor) in 2016 to 2017. Linear regression was used to analyze (1) differences in AT/day or PAC/hour between Black and White participants, (2) differences in LA measures between Black and White participants, and (3) racial differences in the association of LA measures with AT or PAC frequency. Compared with White participants, Black participants had a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and disease, lower AT frequency, greater LA size, and lower LA function. After multivariable adjustments, Black participants had 37% (95% CI, 24%– 47%) fewer AT runs/day than White participants. No difference in PAC between races was noted. Greater LA size and reduced LA function are associated with more AT and PAC runs; however, no race interaction was present. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in LA measures are unlikely to explain the difference in atrial fibrillation risk between Black and White individuals. Despite more cardiovascular risk factors and greater atrial remodeling, Black participants have lower AT frequency than White participants. Future research is needed to elucidate the protective mechanisms that confer resilience to atrial ar-rhythmias in Black individuals.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang W; Norby FL; Zhang MJ; Reyes JL; Shah AM; Soliman EZ; Lutsey PL; Alonso A; Solomon SD; Inciardi RM
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 21